What are kidney stones?

A kidney stone or renal calculi is a hard material formed from salts and minerals within the kidney and the urinary tract. Stones vary in sizes and can be as small as a grain of salt to as large as a marble.

Causes

Approximately 10% of the world’s population suffers from kidney stones sometime in their life and more than 80% of those affected experience a reoccurrence.

  • Dehydration: Poor fluid intake causes concentration of salts and minerals in the urine leading to stones. Exercising without proper hydration can predispose you to stones.
  • Family history of kidney stones.
  • Kidney stones can form when substances in the urine—such as calcium, oxalate, and phosphorus—become highly concentrated.
  • Certain foods may promote stone formation in people who are susceptible.

Types

There are different types of kidney stones. The exact cause depends on the type of stone.

  1. Calcium stones are most common. They are more common in men between age 20 – 30. Calcium can combine with other substances, such as oxalate (the most common substance), phosphate, or carbonate, to form the stone. Oxalate is present in certain foods such as spinach. It’s also found in vitamin C supplements. Diseases of the small intestine increase your risk of these stones.
  2. Cystine stones can form in people who have cystinuria.
  3. Struvite stones are mostly found in women who have a urinary tract infection. These stones can grow very large and can block the kidney, ureter, or bladder.These stones are usually large and called ‘stag-horn’ stones which cause severe damage to the walls lining the urinary tract
  4. Uric acid stones are more common in men than in women. They can occur with gout or excess uric acid in urine.

Symptoms

  • Pain: A sudden, sharp, excruciating pain usually in the lower back, abdomen and groin.
  • Pain may be associated with nausea and vomiting.
  • Fever and chill may be associated with urinary tract infection.
  • Hematuria or blood in urine due to injury to the urinary tract lining.

Lifestyle Recommendation

  • Increase fluid intake, especially water. Recommended intake of water is 12-15 glasses per day.
  • Do not reduce calcium intake. Lowering calcium intake may increase your chances of calcium oxalate stones (commonest form) as calcium binds with oxalates in the gut and prevents it from being excreted in the urine. Calcium supplements can help provided it is taken with food.
  • Exception: conditions such as Hyperparathyroism and those causing Hypercalciuria, which involve excessive calcium absorption into the urine, are advised to avoid or lower calcium.
  • Reduce salt and animal protein intake.

Conventional Management

Kidney stones are treatable and can be prevented with dietary changes and lifestyle modifications. With adequate water intake, three litres a day, small crystal can be flushed out spontaneously without causing damage to the kidneys.

Some of the steps involved in conventional management of kidney stones are:

  • Bed rest
  • Local heat application
  • Increased fluid intake (2 litres-4 litres daily). Small stones may pass out on their own, but larger stones need intervention.
  • Avoiding preparations that may contain Vitamin D
  • Spinach and green leafy vegetables avoided in the diet of those with oxalate stones
  • Lithotriptor is used to powder larger stones using shock waves under water, aimed at the stone, from the body surface.
  • Renal stones, when large, are required to be removed surgically.

You can prevent and/or reduce your chances of stone reoccurrence with the lifestyle changes and homeopathic treatment recommended. So do opt for homeopathy at the earliest…

Homoeopathy and Kidney stones

Homoeopathy offers symptomatic relief without having to go through the throes of surgery.

After giving medicine which helps by:

  • Offering pain relief and reducing blood in urine.
  • Reducing susceptible to recurrent infections and stone formation.
  • Propagate passing or breaking down stones.

Small to medium size stones (4-10 mm) have a greater chance of completely passing out on treatment

Larger stones may or may not pass or break depending on the size, location and nature of stone